On Sept. 4, the SLO City Council will take up the Planning Commission's pot-stirring zoning recommendation to allow buildings up to 75 feet tall in the downtown core. By all accounts, it's likely to approve the recommendations, with a few potential changes.
Passage is key to the construction of two massive projects slated for the downtown area the so-called Chinatown Project and WestPac's Garden Street Terraces. Though the projects differ, both would consume the bulk of a city block, swallowing up city-owned street-level metered parking spots and replacing them with condos, retail shops, and hotels that would reach 78 feet in height.
Changes allowing the height increase have already been adopted in the city's General Plan.
City supporters have emphasized that the highest buildings, between 60 and 75 feet, would only be allowed when they meet city objectives such as increasing affordable housing and encouraging residential units downtown.